Uber 911 feature: Does it work? We tested it.
A new safety feature inside the Uber app is not working the way it was expected to in Chattanooga.
The new feature allows you to call 911 from inside the app and sends dispatchers critical information.
Order an Uber, click on the toolkit and make a 911 call. This new safety feature rolled out across the country Tuesday.
Chattanooga is one of six cities to take that a step further by providing dispatchers with the caller's location, name and a description of the vehicle they are riding in.
"We can give that information to the first responder to help them quickly identify where the call, what vehicle the caller’s in,” 911 executive director John Stuermer said. “So that's really important too. That's a feature we're looking forward to."
Channel 3 ordered an Uber to test the new feature. We had our driver pull over in a parking lot so we could call 911.
Channel 3 told the 911 center we would be calling, for safety reasons, but did not tell them where we were headed or where we would be calling from.
Halfway through our trip, we pulled over to call 911.
Our information popped up on the app for us to see, and the local 911 center dispatcher saw our location too.
"We're showing you at 205 Manufacturer’s Road," the dispatcher said.
But when we asked if they could see any other information, including my name and a description of our Uber vehicle, the dispatcher said, "no, it doesn't show anything."
A spokesperson for Uber said the feature should be working in Chattanooga, but this is why they have the six city pilot program, so they can work out the kinks.
Despite the issues, Stuermer said Uber's emergency service is a step in the right direction.
"It's a great enhancement to ensuring that we can find the people that call us quicker and more accurately," Stuermer explained.
Uber is looking into why our locations were not shared today.
A spokesperson said they are testing the service in Chattanooga and those five other cities, and they won't roll it out nationwide until all the issues are fixed.
After Channel 3 paid for the trip today, Uber sent a receipt message asking if I was OK, noting I used the feature and providing additional safety resources.